Acquisition and loss of cold-tolerance in adult barnacles (Balanus balanoides) kept under laboratory conditions

P. A. Cook, A. H. Lewis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


In the laboratory, Balanus balanoides (L.) barnacles maintained without food at 5°C over the winter to summer period remained cold-tolerant. Winter animals maintained at 5°C and fed Artemia nauplii under a controlled light-dark regime until mid-summer lost this cold-tolerance. Summer animals, maintained without food at 5° or 15°C until midwinter, became cold-tolerant. Summer and winter animals subjected to increased (or decreased) ambient salinity for 48 h showed a small decrease (or increase) in their lower median lethal temperature (MLT-defined as the temperature at which 50% of the animals die after 18 h exposure to air). Summer animals subjected to desiccation for 48 h also showed a small decrease in their lower MLT. It is concluded that the seasonal changes in cold-tolerance of adult barnacles are probably induced by a combination of environmental factors including food availability, light intensity, day-length and changes in ambient sea-water temperatures. Development of cold-tolerance in the winter did not depend upon fertilisation. Changes in intra-cellular solute concentration which accompany adaptation to changes in ambient salinity or desiccation do not appear to be related to the seasonal changes in cold-tolerance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26-30
Number of pages5
JournalMarine Biology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1971
Externally publishedYes


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